Recognition has again been received for the spirit of excellence that drives the quest for innovation and continuous or breakthrough improvements at Dubai Aluminium,DUBAL, the state-owned corporation that operates the world’s largest aluminium smelter using pre-bake anode technology. This time, the recognition platform was the 4th Continual Improvement & Innovation, CII, Symposium organized by Dubai Quality Group, DQG. One of the most prestigious events held in November each year, the annual CII Symposium celebrates World Quality Month; and DUBAL was one of the gold sponsors of the 2012 event.
Seven DUBAL case studies were short-listed for LIVE Competition during the day of the symposium, which took place on 28 November 2012. Four of DUBAL’s finalist case studies took top honours in two categories:
KAIZEN Category – DUBAL won the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards; and
Breakthrough Process Improvement Category, where DUBAL took the Gold Award.
In addition, 45 DUBAL employees participated in the 2012 CII Symposium to learn and further develop on the best practices shared during the event.
DUBAL continually strives towards enhancing the use of innovative, scientific, structured and data-driven methodologies for the continual and breakthrough improvements of its processes. The company re-engineered its team-based programme in 2009, to strengthen the corporate drive towards excellence in achieving company’s long-term goals and strategic objectives by providing a platform for employees to participate and successfully complete the value-added team-based projects at faster rate. This resulted in the High Performance Teams, HPT, programme, which encourages and recognizes the efforts of employees in identifying solutions or improvement opportunities and managing the implementation of the same through Lean Six Sigma, PDCA or any other internationally accepted scientific methodology. DUBAL has developed more than 100 employees on Lean, Six Sigma and Quality Management concepts, which are now being utilized effectively for breakthrough process enhancements.
The DUBAL four case studies recognised at the 2012 CII Symposium were:
Gold Award – For the project entitled “To reduce the throughput time for “Billet Alloy 12301” in Batch Homogenization” from Product & Casting Operations.
Silver Award – For the project entitled “Re-cycling of Carbon Dust instead of disposal to Landfill” from Smelter Services & Supply Logistics.
Bronze Award – For the project entitled “Elimination of Steam Turbine trip due to very high temperature of shaft line (ST-16) from Power & Desalination Maintenance.
Breakthrough Process Improvement Category:
Gold Award - For the project entitled “Reduction of Stub Repair” from Reduction Materials, which entailed using Six Sigma - DMAIC Methodology.
This year marked the second time that DUBAL participated in CII Symposium. In the 2011 event, DUBAL won the Silver Award in Breakthrough Improvement Category plus both the Silver and Bronze Awards in the KAIZEN Category.
"These accolades demonstrate the commitment of our employees; as well as their dedication towards excellence. DUBAL invests significant efforts in building organizational capabilities to develop and involve employees in line with the best-in-class practices, leading to greater quality, productivity and cost-effectiveness. Employee involvement is a vital element of DUBAL’s Total Quality Management and we are very proud of our employees, whose active involvement plays a key role in DUBAL's sustainability,” says Abdulla Kalban (President & Chief Executive Officer). “Indeed, we believe that team-work and involving our employees in the decision-making process at DUBAL is definitely our competitive advantage.”
Sultan Al Sabri (Vice President: Human Resources & Organisational Effectiveness) adds that team-based activities/projects nurture an organizational culture of creativity, business innovation and breakthrough developments that enhance DUBAL’s competitiveness through best-in-class products, services, technological developments, cost-reductions and effective risk management across various levels of the organization. “Team-work provides employees a platform to excel at improvements and developments while establishing ownership of these enhancements among stakeholders,” Al Sabri says. “In this way, team-based projects also ensure continual and consistent business innovation by involving stakeholders.”
Al Sabri adds that the number of team-work projects completed has increased from 48 in 2010 to more than 160 in 2012 – a trend that signifies employees’ positive morale and their commitment to the improvement and innovation drive in DUBAL. Increased employee participation in the HPT programme is being targeted, with the aim of greater activity at multi-fold level so as to support DUBAL’s long-term sustainability.